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Archived - iChat: How to send SMS messages

iChat can communicate with cellular phone systems using SMS (Short Message Service). SMS is a wireless service for sending messages (up to 160 alphanumeric characters) between mobile subscribers and external systems such as email and voicemail systems.

With iChat, you can send messages to .Mac and AIM users, as well as cellular phone users. Note: You must be signed in to iChat with a MobileMe (mac.com or me.com) or AIM account to do this (not Jabber or Bonjour).

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

To send an SMS (text message) from iChat to a cellular phone:

  1. Choose Send SMS (or New Chat with Person) from the File menu (depending on your version of iChat). Or, press Option-Command-N or Shift-Command-N depending on the version of iChat you use.
  2. Enter the cellular phone number. Use the format: +15551234567

    Note: Only US mobile phones can be messaged.

  3. Click OK.
  4. Type the text of your message and click Return.

Most cellular phone systems allow you to respond to these messages and carry on an active chat session. You can also add the phone number to your buddy list.

Additional Information

You can also add phone numbers to your AIM Buddy List in the above format (+15551234567). These numbers can be associated with contacts in Address Book like other account names, that is in the AIM screen name field rather than a home/work/mobile phone number field.

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Mar 18, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Mar 18, 2014
  • Article: HT3462
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